Golf Course Management

DEC 2012

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 19 of 125

President's Message by Sandy G. Queen, CGCS Destination: San Diego There are plenty of good reasons to travel to San Diego, but at least for golf course superintendents, the best is undoubtedly the fact that the city is playing host to the 2013 GCSAA Golf Championships, the GCSAA Education Conference and the Golf Industry Show in early February. No doubt you have seen the various communication pieces that have come your way highlighting the multitude of activities that will fill the week while GCSAA calls Southern California home. If you have already registered, I encourage you to begin mapping out your plan to make the most effi- cient use of your time. GCSAA offers the My Show Planner, an online tool to identify exhibitors you want to visit and compile your daily schedule of events and activities. This re- source also serves as an excellent tool to communicate with your employer and staff the information you collected and the value derived by the facility. If you have not registered, but plan on doing so, I urge you to not procrastinate. Golf tournament slots, seminars and hotel rooms begin to fill up quickly once registration opens. If you are on the fence about attending or have even dis- missed the notion, I urge you to take a closer look at the op- portunity that is afforded not only to you, but also to your facility. In my opinion, there is no better professional devel- opment opportunity for a superintendent and no better op- portunity to enhance golf course efficiencies than conference and show. That is the case whether you are just beginning your career or have been in the business for quite some time. A perfect example of this is the story of veteran GCSAA member Ken Mangum, CGCS, from the Atlanta Athletic Club. You no doubt saw the 2011 PGA Championship and how a selection of new grass varieties provided a playing sur- face that played to rave reviews by officials and competitors alike. It was a major undertaking to switch from cool-season to warm-season grasses that required a completely different management program. Mangum gives a significant amount of the credit for a successful transition to attending conference and show. The trip allowed him to talk with numerous vendors, meet with peers who had completed similar projects, take seminars to enhance his knowledge and discuss with researchers the sci- 16 GCM December 2012 ence behind his work. There is no other activity that comes remotely close to providing as complete a resource and effi- cient use of time and money. While the Atlanta Athletic Club's story is certainly high profile, the benefits are not exclusive to courses that one would consider "rich" or "famous." There are countless sto- ries where limited budget facilities have been able to sustain themselves through what was gleaned by attending confer- ence and show. I would contend that because the margin for In my opinion, there is no better professional development opportunity for a superintendent and no better opportunity to enhance golf course efficiencies than conference and show. such facilities is razor thin, it might be even more important for superintendents from these facilities to attend. To this point, my discussion has focused on what I call the hard costs. While dollars and cents are the bottom line, they do not speak to the intrinsic value of conference and show that should not be discounted. This has been a tough year for virtu- ally every region of the country in terms of the negative impacts of weather. The sense of community experienced by attending conference and show cannot be duplicated. While I cannot put a price tag on a warm smile, a pat on the back, a friendly con- versation or a shoulder to lean on, I can tell you these might be some of the most valuable takeaways from the event. I hope to see you in San Diego for what promises to be a great week. GCM Sandy Queen, CGCS, is the director of golf operations for the city of Overland Park, Kan., and a 34-year member of GCSAA.

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